Sorry for your loss. Unfortunately, in New York suing a vet for malpractice is incredibly difficult. First you need a Vet willing to testify against the other. That may in this case require an necropsy (animal autopsly) to determine the cause of death. Then the fact that the law only permits you to collect as damages the value of the cat (monetary not emotional). Since there is no chance for a positive monetary recovery, attorneys will not handle these on a contingency basis. Figure an attorney in the metropolitan ny area will charge $250 an hour and need about 40 hours to prosecute this case. That's $10,000 in legal fees and you'd still have to pay the vet to testify. If this is a matter of principal and money is no object, there will be dozens of attorneys willing to take your money. On the bright side, if you decided to file in small claims court for breach of contract to get some of your fees back, the vet will likely settle for something.
If you'd like to discuss, please feel free to call. Jeff Gold Gold, Benes, LLP 1854 Bellmore Ave Bellmore, NY 11710 Telephone -516.512.6333 Email - Jgold@goldbenes.com
I'm sorry for your loss. The most you could recover would be the value of your cat. Unfortunately, that wouldn't be much.
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While veterinary malpractice/neglect is a valid cause of action, such suits are very expensive to litigate. Such suits are basically a battle of the experts, with one side saying "this is standard procedure under these circumstances" and the other side saying "this is not standard procedure under these circumstances ". The damages awarded are generally not very high (usually vet expenses and replacement value of the animal) unless what the vet did was truly shocking and outrageous. Without reviewing all the records, it’s not possible to say if this situation rises to that level. In addition, unless you had a necropsy performed on your cat, you really have no way of proving what caused the dog to die.
Short of litigation, you can file a complaint with the American Veterinary Medical Association, http://www.avma.org/.
If we do not have a signed fee agreement I am not your attorney and this is not legal advice.
Its terrible to know any animal may have suffered. Unfortunately this is a property damage claim under NY law. Best of luck.
Mr. Pascale is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and time-lines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Pascale strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to insure proper advice is received.
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